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Published Date: Mar 10, 2021

Speakers Term Gender-equality Crucial To Counter Development Challenges

Several systemic issues persist in Pakistan pertaining gender-inequality, however, the positive steps including pro-women legislation in recent years has given a strong hope for an inclusive society.

These views were expressed by participants of webinar titled ‘Choose to challenge’ arranged here by Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), in connection with International Women’s Day.

Speaking at the occasion, Christopher King, Head of Development Cooperation, Canadian High Commission to Pakistan said, “our commitments are not just based on values, but the evidence show empowerment and leadership of women has been a key in improving socio-economic indicators of a society.” He added that Canadian government, as part of its approach for supporting international development, continuously pushing forward the agenda of promoting socio-economic empowerment amongst the women and girls.

Senator Ayesha Raza Farooq, while drawing the parallels between the campaign for Polio vaccination and Covid-19 vaccination, informed the participants that women, especially lady health workers played highly instrumental role in taking the vaccine to highly conservative and hard to reach areas in Polio vas-vaccination campaign.

These brave women also played important role in creating acceptance for the vaccine amongst the masses.

Ms Farooq emphasized that we need to enhance the participation of women at decision to policy-making levels and thus to benefit every segment of society for women being more empathetic leaders.

Besides endorsement from political leaders, religious and other influential of society and thus building trust for Covid-19 vaccination, giving women a key role in the campaign would yield highly positive dividends, she concluded.

She added that the sensitivity about the pandemic is lacking in the society and therefore, massive awareness campaigns would play crucial role in creating acceptance for the vaccine.

Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri, Executive Director, SDPI, while summing up the discussion said that the most pertinent question of the hour is that how not only women, but the sensitized men could work together to create gender-equality and to take this sensitizing to others as well.

“Working together is the only way to create the real impact of gender-equality and thus, it is time to enhance collaborated efforts at every level in this regard,” Dr Suleri added.